Louisiana Spice Truck


: Near Harborside Financial Center Plaza 2, Jersey City


Phone: 718-938-1628

So my wish came true. There's a new lunch truck "in town", and it serves awesome Louisiana creole food! Having never been to Louisiana, my experience with creole food was only through eating at Emeril's New Orlean Fish House restaurant in Las Vegas and Mardi Gras restaurant in Forest Hills Queens. I like the spices and complex taste of creole food - it's like French, Spanish, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian, African cuisine all infused into one cuisine, in a good way. Some of my favorite creole dishes are shrimp creole, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish bisque... you can say that creole food and my taste bud just clicked.

Since I no longer live in Queens, and it's been ages since I visited Las Vegas (or I should really visit New Orleans), I don't get to eat in a creole restaurant as much as I would like to. So it was a sweet surprise when I discovered Jessie's Louisiana Spice truck on my way home one day, I think I've been praying hard enough for a new place to eat in Jersey City. Jessie had been living and working as a chef in Paris for many years, so it's our good fortune that he decided to start a lunch truck in Jersey City. His menu changes, but you can count on him for mouth watering jambalaya at any given day.

If you work in Jersey City and you are looking for something new and nice for lunch, Louisiana Spice truck is the place for you. Check out the website or follow him on twitter for the latest menu/news. Why settle for the same old pasta, pizza, sandwich or soup for lunch when you can get exciting dishes like chicken and sausage gumbo, brisket, pulled pork, pineapple cheesecake, chocolate bread pudding, creme anglais,
red bean and rice and banana pudding?!

my first lunch box from Louisiana Spice Truck. Jambalaya with chicken and Andouille sausage and rice.

Chicken Gumbo!

Good Food in Ann Arbor


Ann Arbor, Michigan. The small campus town where University of Michigan is located, where the Big House is, where the Michigan Wolverine plays. Does anybody really travel to Ann Arbor for food? I highly doubt it. But that doesn't mean there're no outstanding restaurants in the city. Broadway Cafe's cheese steak hoagie and fried mushrooms, and Krazy Jim's blimpy burger are absolutely amazing, even by New York standard. And haven't you heard of Zingerman's bakery, deli, roadhouse? It's so famous it even has its own mail order catalog.

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

Address: 551 S Division St, Ann Arbor, MI

Phone: 734-663-4590

Our first stop in Ann Arbor for food - Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger (not related to Blimpie). This is the place you have to go when you visit Ann Arbor. Their burger patties are thin and juicy, and you can add any toppings to your burger. Mine has a fried egg, fried onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, mushroom and cheese in it. Om Nom Nom!

deep fried vegetables

blimpy burger!

Zingerman's Roadhouse

Address: 2501 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI


Phone: 734-663-3663

For dinner, it was Zingerman's Roadhouse. This is the more grown up (and more expensive) restaurant of the Zingerman's "empire" here in Ann Arbor. Serving delicious regional American food such as fried green tomatoes, macaroni an cheese, BBQ meat etc with a focus on fresh, seasonal and locally produced ingredients. We were actually surprised by the quality of the food served here; tomatoes are from the owner's own farm (Cornman Farms), mozzarella made fresh in house and even the gulf shrimps were FEDEX'ed to Michigan the same day and were never frozen. We've also heard a lot about Zingerman's deli, but didn't get a chance to drop by. Our waitress did give us a pecan blondie and a magic brownie to try. Oh yea, it was delicious!

Fresh Kusshi and Wellfleet oysters


Fried Green Tomatoes

fresh Gulf shrimp flown in the same day, never frozen

BBQ sampler

Broadway Cafe

Address: 1139 Broadway St, Ann Arbor, MI

Phone: 734-769-3524

Morning of the Game Day, we headed to Broadway Cafe for its legendary cheese steak hoagie. The owner, Mr. Chang has been serving cheese steak hoagies and delicious Korean dishes at the same location for almost 20 years. It's a strange combination, having cheese steak hoagies and korean dishes under the same roof, but that doesn't bother us at all. Food is freaking good here, especially the cheese steak hoagie and fried mushrooms, and that's all that matters.

cheese steak hoagie

fried mushrooms

sul lung tang

Miki Japanese Restaurant

Address: 106 S 1st St, Ann Arbor, MI

Phone: 734-665-8226

I was introduced to my first shabu-shabu in Miki about ten years ago, and that was when my love affair for shabu shabu started. There are quite a number of decent Japanese restaurants which serve shabu shabu in New York City (and I can make this at home), so I didn't miss Miki that much. But Gan and I definitely feel sentimental about this restaurant.

assorted tempura


DB Bistro Moderne


55 West 44th Street, New York (btw 5th and 6th Ave)


Phone: 212-391-2400

Daniel Boulud should definitely get an award for reinventing his food and restaurants. At a time when molecular gastronomy is so sought after, Daniel Boulud answers back with a contemporary, less stuffy db bistro moderne that focuses on modern/classic French cuisine. He also orchestrated the head-to-toe makeover of his flagship restaurant Daniel to reflect diners preference for more modern/contemporary French cuisine. His effort is definitely paying off, seeing how db Bistro is not only drawing business lunch crowd, but leisure diners as well. Its main attraction is definitely the db Original Burger that has foie gras in it (genius right?!). However, other than the Burger and heirloom tomatoes salad, I felt that the rest of the dishes at db Bistro were just so so when I ate there. But I'll be sure to check out DBGB Kitchen & Bar soon, curious to see how the food is at his new downtown brasserie. So far the menu looks interesting (asparagus and fried egg, jim's matzoh ball soup, cucumber soup with smoked salmon crissini...) and the interior looks really amazing!
MIXED GREENS SALAD with Heirloom Tomatoes, Paremsan, Lemon Vinaigrette

SOUPE DU JOUR - corn soup

ORGANIC CHICKEN BREAST with Baby Spinach, Corn Fondue, Chanterelle Chicken Jus

HANGER STEAK with Oxtail Ragout, Bean Fricassee, Tomato Confit, Bordelaise

THE ORIGINAL db BURGER - Sirloin Filled with Braised Short Ribs & Foie Gras Served on a Parmesan Bun Pommes Frites or Pommes Soufflées

DB Bistro Moderne on Urbanspoon

Tori Shin


1193 1st Ave, New York, NY (between 64th St & 65th St)

Phone: 212-988-8408

I have tried chicken sashimi twice, once at Yakitori Totto long time ago and the second time was at Tori Shin just recently. Raw chicken or chicken sashimi does sound scary, but believe it or not, it's actually really delicate and delicious, taste almost like fish sashimi!

The trip to Upper East Side for Omakase yakitori dinner at Tori Shin was made possible by our friend Nick from Boston. His Japanese chef friend hooked us up with the chef-owner of Tori Shin, Shu Ikeda and it was one of the best yakitori dinners I have had for a long time. Everything the chef prepared were divine: we had chicken meat balls, chicken gizzards, chicken oysters, duck with scallions, mushrooms etc. My favorite dishes that night were the chicken sashimi, grilled mushrooms, chicken oysters and minced chicken over rice. There were some very interesting courses such as the cheese course; the miso flavored cheese especially was delightfully creamy and a great way to cleanse the palette before the creme de la creme, chicken oysters.

Chicken oysters is the soft meat shaped like an oyster between the backbone and the thigh of the chicken. It's widely considered as the best part of the chicken, just like the cheek meat is for a fish. The chicken oysters were very moist and the chef "insisted" that we eat it in one bite. The bite explodes in your mouth, filling it with both the warm juicy chicken juice and the softest chicken meat I've had. The meal that night was like a professorial thesis on chicken parts. Chicken liver, chicken gizzard, chicken neck muscles or tendon, and the various parts of the chicken meat. As simple a protein a chicken may sound, there's all the delicate intricacies in the different parts of the chicken meat. Why haven't I noticed how interesting chicken could be?

Tori Shin is one of the great hidden gems in the city. It wasn't even listed in Urbanspoon until I requested for them to list it. If not because of its location at Upper East Side, I think I'll go there more often as I am hooked to their minced chicken over rice dish!

Chicken Sashimi

Chicken Meat Balls

Grilled chicken thighs

Homemade tofu with cheese (one miso flavored, one mixed with minced chicken)

The grilled mushrooms were so fresh, juicy and springy!

Shredded grilled chicken (dried for a few days). Almost like chicken jerky. Very flavorful!

Grilled duck with negi (scallions)

Minced chicken with yuzu with chicken soup on the side. This was our final dish and it was truly amazing!

I think Gan found his favorite Oyako don. This is a special version. The organic raw egg ties the yakitori style chicken with the rice perfectly.

This Daiginjo from Niigata was one of the best sake I've tasted. Chef Shu Ikeda mentioned that Tori Shin is an exclusive carrier of this particular brand. Glad that the chef insisted that we try!

Tori Shin on Urbanspoon